LeBron James entered Thursday night just 11 points behind Kobe Bryant on the NBA’s all-time playoff scoring list. With just under 7 1/2 minutes remaining in the second quarter of Game 3 between his Cleveland Cavaliers and the Indiana Pacers, the King topped the Mamba:
The isolation move and short jumper over Paul George — plus the and-one free throw he hit after drawing the contact — gave James 13 points in Game 3, and 5,642 in his illustrious career, enough to move into third place on the all-time scoring list and bump Bryant (5,640 points) down to fourth. James reached his mark in his 202nd career playoff game; Kobe played in 220 postseason contests.
— NBA (@NBA) April 20, 2017
Next up on the all-time list: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who sits in second place with 5,762 career postseason points, a scant 120 more than LeBron had tallied after that and-one bucket. While that mark would seem to be a good bet to fall in pretty short order, James has a bit more work to do to take aim at the No. 1 spot held by — who else? — Michael Jordan, with 5,987.
James also ranks third in playoff steals, third in playoff assists, fourth in playoff minutes, fifth in playoff field goals and 3-pointers, eighth in playoff rebounds, ninth in playoff games, and 21st in playoff blocks. (And, for the advanced metric lovers among us: first in playoff win shares, first in Value Over Replacement Player, and third in playoff Player Efficiency Rating.)
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: nobody has ever done everything quite like LeBron James … and he’s still got some climbing to do.
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